Safety is our Mission: Avoiding the Perfect Storm
At Mallory Safety and Supply, safety is always on our minds. We make safety a priority for ourselves and our customers. Even so, recently, a case of burn spray shipped via air to Alaska amongst a large pick and hold. This shipment was tucked inside a full pallet of material. Burn spray contains propane, which is a flammable and a big no-no for air shipments. It has an innocuous sounding ORM-D label that doesn’t scream HAZMAT like some products, yet, under the right/wrong circumstances, could contribute to a plane crash!
It is a reminder to keep safety at the top of our minds in all that we do. As a result, Mallory is reinvigorating our efforts around hazmat material handling and transportation.
This was not one person’s error, but rather a perfect storm of mistakes. It wasn’t segregated or flagged as Hazmat when we received it. Our ERP system didn’t identify the burn spray as Hazmat, so the CSR put it on an air order. The picker didn’t identify it as Hazmat at the time of picking. Weeks later, in shipping the consolidated pallet, our shipper didn’t inspect and identify the shipment as Hazmat. The result could very likely be a $50,000 fine, as the FAA takes shipping flammables on planes very seriously. They have to be marked so that they can be placed close to firefighting capabilities, smoke detectors, etc.
Expect to see a lot of cross training. We wouldn’t want a similar situation to occur, for example:
- An ENSA employee traveling to a trade show with a can of wd-40 in their bag.
- A safety services employee traveling with a can of paint.
- A sales manager shipping dust-off from a tradeshow
- A marketing person sending a lithium ion battery to a photo shoot.
We are going to have awareness courses, and more in depth certification for packers and shippers and drivers. We can be happy that nobody was hurt, but we need comprehensive and systemic change to make sure we never find ourselves in the position of having caused an avoidable injury.
By Tim Loy